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Being creative takes time. Statistics say that 1 out of 30 ideas is a good one. In reality that means that you have to come up with 29 bad ideas to get a good one. To come up with 10 good ideas that can evolve into profitable innovations you need 290 bad ideas. Terrible, isn’t it—and who is prepared to put up with 290 bad ideas?

The more ideas you produce, the higher is the probability that one of them is a bright one. But are you spending enough time and do you have the right processes in place to boost ideas within your company?

So what does this YouTube clip tell you about your creative processes?

5 Responses to “Idea Generation is a High-volume Business that Takes Time”

  1. Kerstin Söderberg

    Like creativity I also get inspired by freedom, playfulness, and fun :-)

    Some reading about ways to increasy creativity – http://zenstorming.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/increasing-creativity-exercises/

    Recently I did a variation of the naming game – you should greet a person saying your name, go to next person “saying” the name of the person you greeted, then again taking the new names until you get your own name back. Harder than it sounds. Also did the greeting standing on one leg, as far out of balance as possible. Both these exercise made your brain work in a way it usually doesn’t – good for increasing creativity!

    Reply
  2. Mohamed Ziyan

    Yes! Sometimes we tend to think creativity means to GET the things RIGHT in FIRST ATTEMPT (even though it doesn’t mention the TIME factor, but implies shorter time!). I believe it’s wrong.

    Even if you come up with such, most of the time, history proves that there is still lot of room for improvements in the first idea.

    Reply
    • Martin Gunnarsson

      Martin Gunnarsson

      Yes, the very first version of an idea has to endure a lot of criticism and skepticism, but the challenge is for the founder of the idea to not lose faith in this early and sensitive phase. He or she needs the skill to communicate the business benefits so people understand and believe in what you say. If this process of anchoring the idea will be a show stopper or not depends both on your communication skill and your company culture.

      Reply
  3. Janaka Peiris

    Interesting indeed. Another point when it comes to creativity is, when we are asked to be “creative” or “innovative”, I think we mostly try to think too much and forget the simple, yet effective and powerful ideas.

    We try to think of something that has NOT been done “anywhere in the world” or come up with a “totally unique” idea. In fact it could be great if we can have such ideas, but I personally think there are many ways we can do work differently in our own way to match our goals. The other main idea killer is “my idea could be stupid” / “what will others say ?” thinking. As a result, we fail to come up with any ideas at all, not because we don’t have any, but due to the above mentioned believes we have.

    Another situation that can be easily seen is, when we are given a chance to be creative as a part of a “game” (ie. at a workshop) we come up with many ideas. But when we come back to our normal work at office, we assume that, things are there to be done the same way, and just continue it. So it is upto us to make the environment around us, in a way it allows anyone to openly express their ideas, and be a part of the change. Not only it will make people more engaging, but will give a sense of value to them, rather than a feeling of “machines that run for 8 hours” at office.

    I have read somewhere that “an idea not put into practice is useless”, and is true. How many times have you heard others say “I also had that idea” ? Well, though most of us “had” some ideas, but it is that “one” person who went on and put it into action.

    There are many small ideas that comes into us time to time, especially when we are facing a problem situation where, “this could have been solved like this” thinking comes up. But how much of those ideas are converted to action ? Try to note them down in any way possible, be it in a notepad, post-it note or anywhere possible before you forget it. Then don’t let it be an idea that is just “written on the note”, please follow-up. Other complain is, “I cant do it, its HE/SHE who has the authority to implement it”. Well, I think then we have not presented the idea in a way that “HE/SHE” feels its importance. Recently Johan Arvidsson in a training nicely pointed out the “let them bleed” strategy, where we can present the idea showing not only its benefits, but also what the “other” person could lose by not implement it.

    Try sharing the idea with a friend, as I have seen that when you explain an idea you have, to someone else, where the listener may give his/her feedback on how to improve it from there. They could see the same in a totally different way. Then, as the original blog post correctly pointed out, allocate some time to put the idea into action.

    Implement it. May be it can fail, but its worth trying than spending time daily doing the same, over and over again, expecting things to be different.

    Reply
    • Martin Gunnarsson

      Martin Gunnarsson

      I think there are several dimension when it comes to generating ideas and innovations.
      One dimension is to frequently come with new ideas and take them through the “funnel” and pick those that can be turned into profitable innovations. I talk about this in a previous post;
      http://blogs.ifsworld.com/2011/09/will-your-business-survive-without-innovation/
      – Originality – the element of newness of an idea
      – Value – the extent to which an idea solves a perceived problem
      – Realization – the ease of developing an idea into a commercial product
      – Number of ideas – a measure of divergent thinking.

      The 2nd dimension is to learn how to communicating new ideas, how to get buy-in from management. You will need to explain the business value of your ideas and explain how to take the idea from the drawing board to a released product. In practice, or course you don’t need to manage this process yourself but you need the capability / communication skill to explain how it could be done.

      The 3rd dimension could be company culture. How are new ideas treated within the organization? Not every idea is a good idea – that’s fact. But every idea, good or bad, needs to be shaped and for you, this new idea is very fragile and needs to be handled with care. A yawning or a laugh can kill all motivation for taking the next step, and here the company / management culture plays an important role.

      Reply

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